ADVENT! Part IV

 

Advent-Candles

The Who of Advent

Today is the final message in our four-part Advent Devotional Series. We have worked through the What, the Why, and the How of Advent. We will close this series with the most important question in all of life—one that every man, woman, and child needs to ask and answer. But before we get to that question, I want to ask and answer two other very important questions.

Let’s dive in!

Who Does God The Father Say Jesus Is?

After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, plunging all of humanity and creation into ruin, God did not abandon them. He did not leave them there, shivering fearfully in their nakedness and shame and sin. God pursued those two rebels on the run; and in their presence, He made this promise to the serpent who had deceived them:


I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

(Genesis 3:15)


God promised Adam and Eve that He would send a Savior who would redeem His children from both the penalty of sin and the power of sin. And at the end of the third chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, God the Father announced that this promise was fulfilled in His Son, Jesus Christ, in whom He is well pleased.


As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

(Matthew 3:16-17)


 Who Does Jesus Say He Is?


The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ), when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

(John 4:25-26)


When this Samaritan woman used the term “Messiah,” she was speaking about the expected King of the Jewish people who had been promised by God and anticipated by the nation of Israel for centuries. There are many Old Testament prophecies of a promised descendant of David who would come down from heaven and save His people. Those promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.


He was saying to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.”

(John 8:23)



Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

(John 8:58)


Notice that Jesus did not say, “Before Abraham was born, I was born.” Instead He said, “I am,” indicating that He is eternally existent. His declaration immediately calls to mind the words spoken by God to Moses at the burning bush: “I AM WHO I AM!” (Exodus 3:14).

But just in case any of us failed to make that connection, Jesus clearly claimed equality with God the Father. He told the Jews, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

Jesus told His disciples, “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that He is the ONLY WAY to God . . . the ONLY TRUTH of God . . . and the ONLY LIFE through God.

And now here is the final question that I must ask . . . the most important question that can ever be asked . . . a question that only you can answer:

Who Do You Say He Is?


When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”

(Matthew 16:13-17)


Jesus made it clear that only God can open the eyes of our hearts to know Jesus; all of Scripture reinforces this truth. This knowledge of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, to the glory of God alone, does not come through human logic or decision; it does not even come through the witness of miracles—a burning bush or some sort of Damascus Road experience. It will only come through the revelation of God, which makes the blind see, the deaf hear, and the dead rise to new life.

So . . . what will you do with this Jesus, who is called Christ? Who do you say this Jesus is? This is the most important question you will ever answer. I implore you, as an ambassador of Christ, be reconciled to God through Him!


God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

(2 Corinthians 5:21)


This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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